This week, JMF families will kick-off the holiday season with a performance of The Nutcracker, and will do so free of charge, due to the generosity of Indianapolis Ballet. JMF is grateful to share this experience with the children and families that we serve, and asked Indy Ballet to answer some questions about why this type of giving is so important to them.

The Indianapolis Ballet has generously donated tickets for their 2019 performance of The Nutcracker, so that the families we serve can attend free of charge. Can you speak to why this type of generosity is important for the organization?

Simply put, it’s part of Indianapolis Ballet’s mission statement “to provide central Indiana with exceptional performances that are accessible to all.” We believe that arts are the great equalizer. Art is to be enjoyed by everyone, and it is our duty and honor to make dance accessible to diverse audiences. 

Indianapolis Ballet aims to always relate a human story with every ballet we present, and draw the audience into the magic world created on stage by our dancers. During this holiday season of giving and gratefulness, The Nutcracker is the perfect opportunity to gather the community together to experience that magic. We hope that this experience inspires each audience member’s own creative expression – whatever form that may take. 

Can you briefly explain what “Community Night” is?

“Community Night” is our annual preview performance of The Nutcracker that Indianapolis Ballet and the Indianapolis School of Ballet have been doing for over a decade! It all started with offering free admission to our Nutcracker dress rehearsal to residents of retirement and assisted living facilities, and then we expanded to schools and other non-profits. We also offer “Community Night” tickets to our corporate sponsors, many of whom “pay it forward” to a non-profit organization meaningful to them. 

This year’s “Community Night” is our biggest yet – we’re expecting about 1,000 people. It’s a mutual exchange: while we give the gift of the performance, the community gives the gift of an engaged audience. This is a big energetic boost for our dancers before they head into a weekend of performances!

We like to ask the question “Why JMF?” to the individuals and organizations that support us and our mission. What is Indianapolis Ballet’s “Why JMF?”

Indianapolis Ballet shares in JMF’s mission to serve children of ALL abilities. We recognize that attending performances like The Nutcracker might otherwise present some challenges for JMF families, and we aim to serve in any way we can by removing some of those barriers. Our hope is that JMF families can enjoy spending time together, escape into the performance, and create new traditions with us.

Finally, what is coming up for Indianapolis Ballet, both for the end of this year, and for 2020, that you are excited about?

We’ve been in full-time Nutcracker rehearsal mode for many weeks now, so we are very excited to present four productions over Thanksgiving Weekend at Old National Centre. It really is the perfect kickoff to the holiday season! After that, we’ve got some great things coming up:  

In February 2020, Indianapolis Ballet will present our Valentine’s day residency at The Toby at Newfields. Love is in the Air will celebrate love in its many forms through a mix of themes and genres. 

We’ll close out our 2019-20 season with our big, story ballet: Sleeping Beauty. We’re thrilled to bring this Tchaikovsky classic to life in grand fashion in mid-April at The Toby. (More information on our upcoming performances can be found at